Because performance sedans still matter.
Well over a year ago, we learned that Cadillac was developing a small, rear-wheel drive sedan that would compete head-on with the likes of the Audi A3, BMW 2 Series, and Mercedes-Benz CLA. Obviously we were all for it, especially since Cadillac previously hinted the BMW 3 Series fighting ATS may not live to see a redesign. And then the new sedan news stopped. Instead, we kept hearing about the upcoming XT4 crossover, slated to debut next week at the New York Auto Show.
Fortunately, Jalopnik recently spoke with Cadillac CEO Johan De Nysschen who provided an update on the sedan's progress. "It will certainly lap the Nurburgring faster than anyone of our competitors in that category," De Nysschen said. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, unlike the CLA and A3, both with all-wheel drive. In fact, the CLA rides on a front-wheel drive platform, so it's cool Cadillac is going all-out here. Quite frankly, we are both thrilled and surprised Cadillac is proceeding with this sedan at all. How come? Because sedan sales haven't exactly been a bright spot lately. We already know the next generation CTS and XTS will likely merge into a single vehicle, expected to be called the CT5.
Combined with sluggish ATS sales, Cadillac is becoming more reliant upon crossovers to bring home the big bucks. De Nysschen also reiterated to Jalopnik sales of the XT5 crossover are doing well. Combined with the XT4, Cadillac will hopefully find itself in better financial shape. "The XT5 is doing very nicely thank you, it's the third-best selling luxury nameplate in the U.S. after the Lexus RX, and the Mercedes C-Class," de Nysschen said. "But the irony is not lost on me that the C-Class is a sedan." Fortunately, de Nysschen clearly gets the whole performance thing, but as a business, Cadillac has no choice but to offer crossovers.
"But product is at the core, and therefore, some models are conceived specifically to generate broad volume, and others have a far more specific duty," de Nysschen added. "We're absolutely not abandoning those performance cars."